Sunday, August 5, 2012

La Dolce Vita is Oh, So Sweeter...with Campari!

LA DOLCE VITA IS OH, SO SWEETER...WITH CAMPARI!  The month of August has only just begun -- and the best parties up and down the Italian Riviera (as well as all over Italy) have just begun too! As the weather becomes all the more sultry, thirsts are needing to be quenched -- and there is no more popular thirst-quencher throughout Italy than that amazing gorgeous red nectar of the gods: Campari!! On January 7, 1880, the first Campari advertisement appeared in the popular Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera and we suppose that everyone was curious about what "Bitter Uso Olando" (as it was first called) tasted like. The history of "taking bitters" is a centuries-long tradition in Europe of using bitter-tasting herbs to stimulate the digestive process -- and with Campari, the custom of having bitters after one's meal became reversed to having this liquid before the meal, thus starting a new drinking trend.  Posters by artist G. Mora in the company's first ad campaigns captured the cosmopolitan lifestyle of La Belle Epoque to a tee.  Aperitifs in European cafes became all the rage with the delightfully bitter Campari being among the most requested among the art and society set -- and then somewhere between 1919 and 1920, a bartender at Caffè Casoni in Florence -- Luca Picchi -- began to serve Count Camillo Negroni his usual "Americano" Campari (with Cinzano rosso vermouth & soda) with an extra shot of gin -- and the now-famous "Negroni" cocktail was born! Comprised of a secret recipe of herbs, aromatic plants and fruits by Gaspare Campari in 1860 in Novara (about 58 kilometers west of Milan), Campari is prepared in numerous ways -- but we at Studio of Style just love the Orange Passion version (shown in top photo) -- especially as how we live in California and can't get enough of our beloved oranges! In this recipe, the addition of brown sugar muddled with slices of orange add a wonderfully sweet edge -- yum! And speaking of sweet, the adorable Milla Jovovich (sigh!!!) is featured in the company's 2012 calendar (see below). If the video doesn't make you want to reach for a refreshing Campari cocktail, then perhaps a trip to Italy and finding the nearest outdoor cafe is what will do the trick!  After all, the Italians invented la dolce vita -- and it's fueled by generous rounds of Campari and enjoyed with friends and loved ones under the golden summer sun! Salute!!
Campari Orange Passion: